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Beyond the poker felts and competitive field of the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments is the grand and enticing pull of the live poker events currently hosted in other popular casinos of Las Vegas.
The Indian challengers who have reached Vegas to participate in the WSOP are also making deep runs and cashing it in a number of other events being held on the side. The $1,100 Mid Stakes Poker Tour (MSPT) Venetian is one of them.
This year, poker player from California, David Levine (cover image) won the event, taking down a field of 4,411 entries to win the first-place payday of $495,500! Two Indian players – Kunal Patni, who entered Flight Day 1C and Sikander Rajwade who entered Flight 1A of the event progressed to Day 2.
Patni (135,000) and Rajwade (100,000) resumed battle on the second day. However, Rajwade busted out empty-handed while Patni made it in the money, finishing in 233rd place for $4,215 (₹2.84 Lakhs).
The event, held under the banner of 2018 DeepStack Championship Poker Series, began on June 3, and culminated on June 8. It was the largest tournament till date in the history of MSPT and Venetian.
The final table play was live-streamed on Twitch. As thousands of poker fans watched, 44-year old Levine who works as an emergency medicine technician won the heads-up against Felipe Davila.
Prior to entering the heads-up, the two struck a deal where each locked up $405,500 and battled it out for the remaining $90,000 and the event title. For Levine, the tournament victory is his career best, also the biggest cash win! Early in January, Levine won the $350 NLH Triple Stack event at 2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic where he banked $16,910.
“I’m pretty ecstatic. When there were five people left and we were on break, I was down in chips. Even if I busted at that time I was still $150K up, so I felt pretty lucky, I felt good,” Levin said, after winning the title.
On the final day, 39 finalists including Iaron Lightbourne who held maximum chips (7,330,000), Young Eum (4,770,000), Dustin Godd (4,750,000) and Jonatan Simchon (4,430,000) returned to the felts to stake a claim to the title.
A total of 450 players made it in the money. Through the second and third day`s, notables who cashed but failed to make the final table included Osama Aweida (11th for $43,007), former WPT champion Iaron Lightbourne (12th for $43,007), Eric Maier (27th for $17,203), Nick Pupillo (29th for $14,622), Mike Del Vecchio (32nd for $14,622), Phong Nguyen (39th, $12,042), Aaron Massey (83rd for $6,795), Richard Bai (108th for $5,505), Mark Sandness (115th for $5,505), Blake Bohn (139th for $5,505), Pat Steele (202nd for $4,215) and Chris Meyers (236th for $3,612).
Final Table Recap
Young Eum who had entered play extremely short-stacked was the first to be eliminated in tenth place. He was followed by Shane Martin and Derek Wolters who busted out in ninth and eighth place respectively.
One of the most interesting hands of the final table was now witnessed when Ken Rawlinson shoved his last three big blinds all in from the button holding the and Davila three-bet shoved from the small blind with . Tyreem Williams, with the called. The board showed and Davila scored a double elimination with his pair of aces, busting out Rawlinson in seventh place and Williams in sixth place.
Next up, Owen Crowe’s pocket fives failed to match up to Lavine’s and hewas relegated to the rail in fifth place.
In the very next hand, Scott Massimiano flopped top pair holding with the on the table. However, Levine had flopped top two pairs with his which held, when turn and popped up on the river, sending Massimiano packing in fourth place.
In the three-handed play, Lou ‘AP’ Garza’s king-eight failed against Davila’s pocket queens and he bowed out in third place.
Here’s when a heads-up deal was struck, and the two remaining players, Davila and Levine resumed play to gun for the trophy and an additional $90,000, apart from $405,500 which they both locked up.
It wasn’t long before the final hand came up. Levine raised to 2.5 Million with and Davila called, with . On the flop, Davila checked and Levine announced a bet of 2 Million chips. Davila then check-raised all in for 25 Million and Levine decided to call. The on turn and on river spelled the end for Davila who had to settle for the runner-up place while Levine was crowned the champion.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. David Levine – $495,500*
2. Felipe Davila – $405,500*
3. Lou ‘AP’ Garza – $266,645
4. Scott Massimiano – $197,833
5. Owen Crowe – $150,525
6. Tyreem Williams – $109,688
7. Ken Rawlinson – $81,714
8. Derek Wolters -$64,511
9. Shane Martin – $51,609
10. Young Eum – $43,007
*denotes heads-up deal